This is the third monthly report of the 2013/14 influenza season. This report provides an update on influenza and other seasonal respiratory pathogen activity to the week ending 22 December 2013. For this season, we will provide detailed influenza update reports on a monthly basis with bulletin style weekly updates in the weeks in between.
This report contains summary epidemiological information on influenza-like illness (ILI) and acute respiratory illness (ARI) activity, its severity and impact in the community and secondary care settings, and vaccine uptake estimates.
The GP consultation rate for influenza-like illness (ILI) and the threshold for normal seasonal activity have been calculated using a new method this season which the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is recommending should be used across the EU. Please refer to the technical document for further information.
A guidance document has been issued by HPS with recommendations for the antiviral treatment and prophylaxis of influenza for the season 2013-14.
Clinical influenza activity fluctuated slightly over the last four weeks but remained below the threshold for normal seasonal activity overall. Virological influenza activity as reported through non-sentinel sources fluctuated at low levels, and started to increase slightly as detected through sentinel sources.
From week 48 to week 51, no laboratory confirmed influenza cases with severe infection requiring intensive care management were reported to HPS.
Over the last four weeks, levels of non-influenza seasonal pathogens were increased as expected for this time of the season. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) levels continued to increase and were consistent with the annual RSV wave. Levels of parainfluenza virus, human metapneumovirus and rhinovirus were increased and slightly above seasonally expected levels. Levels of adenovirus and coronavirus, were slightly increased, but remained within seasonally expected levels. Levels of Mycoplasma pneumoniae, remained low and within expected seasonal levels.